Welcome! I’m so glad you stopped by. If we have not yet had the opportunity to meet, I look forward to connecting with you.
Life is truly a journey. Mine has been very full and divinely blessed — raising a beautiful family, being healed of “terminal” Stage IV cancer and more.
One of the key things I’ve learned through it all: Nothing is impossible. No matter what we face — challenges in a marriage or family, financial issues, a heartbreaking diagnosis or whatever else it may be — there is always hope. So never, ever give up!
My Family, My Heart
I have been blessed to be married to my high school sweetheart Kenny for more than 40 years. We have three beautiful grown daughters, three wonderful sons-in-law and nine precious grandchildren.
I’m so thankful to have been able to witness my daughters get married and to be at each grandchild’s birth to welcome them into the world, because it almost wasn’t possible. Back in 2000 — before any of those grandbabies were born and when all three of my daughters were still in college — I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I was working in corporate America at the time, and thankfully I wasn’t so sick that I couldn’t work through my treatments. But two years later I found out the cancer had metastasized to my lungs and two places on my spine. It had reached Stage IV. I was told I had two years to live and to get my affairs in order.
Defying the Odds
In the four months that followed, I searched for a survival story — but not of a Stage I, II or III breast cancer. I wanted to hear about someone who had Stage IV cancer and survived. I couldn’t find a single story. In that time I went to five cancer centers, and all of them told me nothing could be done.
Because I was told I did not have much time, I also focused on our family’s bucket list. So in the midst of traveling to cancer centers I took what I thought was my last trip to Italy with my daughters.
During an audience with Pope John Paul II at Vatican City I met the sweetest priest who was sitting in front of us. Father Timothy Shing Ling, a native of Myanmar (formerly Burma), was studying in Rome at the time. After we had a nice visit and I said goodbye, his eyes met mine and he said, “I will see you again.” I replied, “Father, unless you are going to heaven soon, you won’t see me again.” He was insistent. “I will see you again. I’m sure of it.”
He was right. Not only did we see one another again, but Kenny and I have maintained a close relationship with Father Timothy since that day in Rome. Today Father Timothy is a priest in my home diocese, ministering to the Burmese people in Kentucky and across the U.S. And we have started a charity together, the Mindat Charity Association, to serve the children of Mindat, Myanmar, and educate them in Christ. In fact, we recently broke ground on the school we are building there and we are now raising funds to complete construction and open the school.
Father Timothy and others served as prayer warriors throughout my journey with cancer, but the turning point really came in 2005. During surgery, the anesthesiologist wasn’t aware that I wasn’t completely sedated — so I felt each of the surgeon’s cuts into my body. It was excruciating. I couldn’t communicate with the doctors to let them know. When the pain got unbearable, the image of Jesus on the cross came to me. I kept focusing on that, and I felt that what I was experiencing was a true sharing of His cross. I could see and hear Jesus say, “Put in on the cross.”
Faith Lights the Way
Faith saw me through that surgery, and my entire journey with cancer, even though it was certainly tested along the way.
Now, as I enter the sixth decade of my life, I am committed to being a devoted wife, mother and Momma Rosie to my grandchildren, and to pursuing three passions: sharing His message of hope through speaking engagements, spreading the word about how to leave a legacy of love with family traditions, and helping the children of Myanmar through the Mindat Charity Association.
I have a “new normal” in terms of my activity level, because years of cancer treatments have had a lasting effect on my body. Yet, sixteen years after the original diagnosis — and after being told I had only two years to live — I am still here. My doctor calls me about every six months to remind me that I am a miracle.
So again I say to you that nothing is impossible. If ever you come to a crossroad in life and you are tempted to give up, I hope that you will remember my story and let it infuse you with the faith and hope to continue your journey.